The “No Name” Brand Case Study

If you’re Canadian, you’re probably familiar with the generic line of products “No Name”.


Throughout the 1980s, Loblaw promoted No Name as a value-oriented alternative to higher priced grocery items.


What’s interesting is how No Name was a brand that tried so hard not to be a brand but is a brand because it is doing so well branding itself!


Their latest multi-media campaign used everything from social media marketing and broadcast video, to branded merchandise, to over 75 different OOH and transit applications to make no name a genuine cultural “thing” in 2019.


The first thing that struck me was how much personality comes across in the campaign. In a world where pricing matters to every consumer, No Name says: “At this price point we won’t make you pay for branding or expensive packaging.”


It makes the brand feel very accessible and relatable. This approach is supported by the very clean, uncluttered design of the packaging.


Packaging was also a huge part of the campaign, and you see this on the shelves with No Name products.  They’ve done a great job with their packaging. They do an excellent job of using design elements that you find in many other brands but they don’t copy them completely and instead just use pieces of them to make up their own unique brand identity… something they think consumers will appreciate.


Also, I noticed that there was a lot more advertising for “No Name” than I was expecting to see for a generic brand like this one.  I was surprised to see the brand being so heavily advertised on bus and subway systems, billboards, and everywhere in between.  Whereas most Canadian brands are trying to be subtle and be unobtrusive, No Name seems proud to be a part of our everyday culture.  And it works well for them!


The look of the packaging is clean and simple with nods to some popular Canadian brands such as Tim Horton’s (which is a famous Canadian coffee shop). Although the design is very simple, it gets the job done in an arguably inexpensive manner.


What I think I like most about the packaging is how despite its simple design, you can tell that there are some strategic elements mixed in. For example, the simple pattern on the boxes makes them stand out from other brands and give them a unique feel that will make consumers more likely to pick up one of these products when they’re shopping.

The branding for this product line is very consistent with their overall strategy… No Name wants to be a part of our everyday culture. So, their brand identity is infused into every aspect of their marketing efforts including their social media strategies.


Overall, I think it’s great to see how brands like this can use social media to talk directly with their consumers. They are letting consumers know that they are present and want to be a part of what they’re doing. Not only does No Name do a great job interacting with their consumers, but they also let them know that their experts are easy to talk to as well.